Victims deserve apologies and compensation

Victims deserve apologies and compensation

The Dutch Gymnastics Federation (KNGU) must make a formal apology to gymnasts who have suffered aggressive behavior from the coaches. The independent report “Unequal Leggers” makes this painfully clear today.

The report was presented today by Verinorm Research. Previous investigation showed that often there was unacceptable behavior. In addition to official apologies, the report also confirms that the monetary compensation is correct. This allowance is specifically designed for the suffering endured by a number of former best gymnasts in particular.

Morgan Olvers and Anton Van Wijk are the lead researchers and, as of September 2020, have conducted research on unacceptable behavior in athletic sports. They did so on behalf of the National Federation of Trade Unions, while the Department of Health, Welfare and Sports (VWS) funded the research. A striking detail here is that the name of the report refers to the horizontal struts of the bridge that are frequently used in gymnastics.

Response from KNGU

The president of the KNGU gymnastics federation, Monique Kempf, reacts cautiously to the results. “We will take a serious look at it and do everything in our power to do so,” in which she refers to compensation. But it is a complicated story, Kempf admits to the news agency ANPWe are now only aware of the report’s recommendations. Compensation is also difficult because our finances are limited. ”So far, the union is looking at the overarching powers.“ We cannot do this alone and we will also have to appeal to the municipalities, VWS and NOC * NSF, ”she says.

Responses from a gymnast

Former gymnast Stasja Köhler is pleased to admit the Gymnastics Federation has done nothing for too long with signs of verbal and physical abuse in the sport. As you can see, the apologies made by the Federation of Trade Unions were positive. “This recognition comes too late, but it is important and very sweet,” said V. we.

Koller provided a comment. “I think that recognition and possibly compensation is also a positive thing for a large group of former gymnasts, but I think it is not enough for a small group that did not hit the radar. I know very little. They are gymnasts who live in isolation and play with suicidal thoughts and have not dared tell their story,” he says Koller, who exposed violations in gymnastics years ago and also wrote a book about it.

Abuses in gymnastics

The immediate reason for the investigation was the Netflix documentary Athlete a, On the abuse scandal in the United States surrounding sports physician Larry Nassar and reports of abuse worldwide in gymnastics. Not long after, Dutch gymnastics coach Gerrit Beltman admitted that he had offended and insulted young gymnasts while training for years. This led to numerous statements from former Dutch gymnasts accusing other coaches. A number of gymnasts have reported abuse before, but the accused coaches have been active for years.

Gymnast Wong also comes out: “My life is right now”

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